thyroid cancer awareness

When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned… I Have Cancer

Have you ever felt like you’re totally in control only to be knocked right back into reality? Well that basically sums up the last 5 days of my life. As I sit here typing this, I cannot help but think about how excited I was last Monday to be working my first full day in the new office. The holidays were over and I was finally getting some great work done, now everything has stopped again.

A few weeks back I went to the doctor for a routine check up (it had been a few years, so I thought it was a good idea). During the exam my doctor noticed a nodule on my thyroid (very common) and ordered a biopsy. A week passed and I forgot all about it.

…Then I got the call from my doctor that the biopsy tested positive for thyroid cancer. That word has a way of resetting your priorities a bit. Now before I go on any longer, I want to let you know that I am going to be fine. I am going in for surgery tomorrow at 6am to have my thyroid removed and the ultrasound is showing that my lymph nodes look good and healthy. It is expected that surgery and radioactive iodine are all I will need. After that, it’s just a matter of finding the right balance of replacement thyroid hormones to put me on until I am back to normal. Although I am not thrilled about the idea of taking hormones for the rest of my life, I am 100% confident that I am in good hands and will be OK.

My intention in writing this post and telling the world is not to scare you, or make you worry about me (though I would appreciate prayers for a safe surgery and speedy recovery 🙂 ). Rather, I hope to just make you all aware that even if you live a super healthy lifestyle- you can still get cancer.

I had no real symptoms to speak of, I only went to the doctor for a routine check up and blood work because it had been a couple of years. Thyroid cancer is on the rise, and although I live a very healthy lifestyle, eat organic most of the time, exercise, sleep, and don’t use drugs- I still developed cancer. I am just so thankful that my doctor found it, and it’s being taken care of quickly.

A Few Facts About Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is the fastest increasing cancer in both men and women and is the most common endocrine cancer.

Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers that has increased in incidence rates over recent years. It occurs in all age groups from children through seniors.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 60,220 new cases of thyroid cancer in the U.S. in 2013. Of these new cases, about 45,310 will occur in women and about 14,910 will occur in men. About 1,850 people (1,040 women and 810 men) will die of thyroid cancer in 2013.

Many patients, especially in the early stages of thyroid cancer, do not experience symptoms. However, as the cancer develops, symptoms can include a lump or nodule in the front of the neck, hoarseness or difficulty speaking, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and pain in the throat or neck.

There are several types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, anaplastic, and variants.

To learn more about more about thyroid cancer, go here.

The important thing to remember with all types of cancer is that early detection is key! So if you haven’t been to your doctor in a while, make an appointment ASAP. Thanks for reading!